In Plattsburgh, two senior apartment buildings are wrapping up 14-day quarantine orders triggered by outbreaks of COVID-19. The order for Russell Barnard APrtments was lifted last week and residents at Lakeview Towers will be off quarantine Friday.
“We just decided we wanted to get out because we’ve been in for 2 weeks,” said Isabelle Spoor, who’s been a resident at Lakeview Towers for 9 years.
It’s her first time getting fresh air since her building was placed under a county imposed quarantine after residents tested positive for COVID-19. With one day left of the order, her usual crew reconnected, of course with masks, gloves, and 6 feet distance.
“I go up and down during the day because I suffer from severe depression,” said Colleen Pace, another longtime resident at the facility. “I start crying at any moment because being locked up in here it almost feels like you’re in jail, you’re being told what you can do, when you can do it.”
Throughout the past two weeks, the Plattsburgh Housing Authority helped coordinate meal delivery, daily phone calls to each resident, and mail was also delivered to every unit to contain the spread.
“We took a lot of steps to help the residents so they didn’t have to leave and I think that went a long way in helping them through that 14 day period,” said Mark Hamilton, executive director of PHA.
Hamilton said when the order is lifted, common areas will still be shut down and other precautions will remain in place.
“We’re still disinfecting the buildings twice a day,” he said. “All the touch points, elevator buttons, door handles, railings, everything.”
The building will also stay closed to the public, meaning more hard times ahead for residents who say they miss their loved ones dearly.
“I try to facetime but it’s not the same as having my grandson come up and grab me and say ‘Nana, I love you’,” Pace said. its not the same.”
In a statement, Mayor Colin Read said, “I’m grateful that the quarantine succeeded and the situation did not worsen at two of the city’s apartments for the elderly. We can’t let our guard down, though. We have to work really hard to keep protecting our most vulnerable residents to prevent any further tragic loss of life. Nothing matters as much as the protection of our health.”